It seems the French have a little longing for America in them after all. It's true--we may have taken their fries, their toast, even their kisses, but after one viewing of Jet Lag, there's no denying that they want to steal something from us: a quality Hollywood-esque romantic comedy. Jet Lag is personalized with melodic French accents and a Paris setting, although sporadic spurts of English phrases and esteemed American references like the Sopranos keep this foreign flick close to home.
The whims and witticisms will do no more than entertain, so don't be thrown off by the subtitles--just because you have to read doesn't mean you have to think. Jet Lag shows us a far less glamorous side of French culture--crowded airports, too much makeup, and a gourmet chef who is famous for his frozen food. Hidden within the massive crowds of the Paris airport, the chance meeting of Rose (Juliette Binoche) and Felix (Jean Reno) comes from the desperate need of a cell phone.
The characters have little to say besides complaining about their pitiful lives. Troubled in the past by drug addictions, physical abuse, and personal failure, the couple finds comfort in the mutual loneliness they share. While there is no chemistry is their first rendezvous, the subsequent encounters are filled with sarcasm, jokes, fights, and confessions, developing the passionate friendship that ends up in a hotel bedroom.
The dramatic struggle to cross the fine line between friendship and love culminates in a final mushy voicemail, which will melt the heart of any romantic while it drives her date out of the theater.
Highlights of the film include French cursing, brief shots of nudity, and 15 seconds of porn. Low points include the casting of two middle-aged, chubby stars, French infatuation with frog legs, and Rose's gaudy wardrobe. This sappy love story is a more realistic twist on an all-American tale--it's darker, sadder, and more pathetic. And, of course, it's French.